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23 February 2006

Universities Preparing for Higher Education Day

Source: Higher Education Partnership

As Alabama faces the best revenue year in its history, the state’s public universities will gather in Montgomery to celebrate Higher Ed Day and remind legislators that now is the time for progress. However, the over 2000 university students, faculty, staff and alumni that are expected to attend will also advocate for a sound strategy for utilizing these funds.
Alabama’s university leaders, working through the Higher Education Partnership, remember that the opposite scenario existed only a few short years ago. Public education faced its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Therefore, university leaders are calling for a good budget for the 2007 year and are calling for a continued effort on the part of the state’s elected officials to generate the long-term funding. Continued vision is needed to ensure true progress is made in keeping college accessible and providing competitive compensation for employees.
Alabama’s public universities will voice their support for the current budget proposal at the annual Higher Education Day rally on Thursday, March 2, 2006. Coordinated by the Higher Education Partnership, Higher Education Day brings this large crowd of university students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni to the capital city during the first weeks of the Legislative Session each year.
The purpose of the event, according to Partnership Executive Director Gordon Stone, is to bring awareness of university issues to Alabama’s elected officials. “This year, university supporters will remind our state’s elected leaders that Alabama’s public universities have over 150,000 voters on their campuses and that these folks WILL VOTE!  The theme for the 2006 event is  ‘150,000 Voting to Make A Difference in Alabama!’ By voting for candidates that support higher education, the 150,000 people will be voting for a better Alabama.” Stone said.
The rally will be held on the front steps of the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery. It will begin at 10:45 a.m. and will end at noon with a free lunch for attendees and elected officials. The official university bands from Alabama State and Jacksonville State will be performing. The Troy University Chorale will be singing. Plus, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, Chairs of the Senate and House Finance Committees and other key leaders will be addressing the crowd!

For more information on Higher Education Day 2006, contact Gordon Stone of the Higher Education Partnership at 334-220-2161

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